The PC market will face an increasingly rougher patch over the next few years, says research firm IDC.
In its latest Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker report released Tuesday, IDC said it lowered its PC shipment forecast for 2014 by 2 percent and its longer-term estimate by just under 1 percent. Global PC shipments are now expected to decline from 315.1 million last year to 295.9 million this year and 291.7 million in 2018.
PC shipments across the world fell by 9.8 percent last year, a bit better than IDC's projection of a 10.1 percent drop. So why the gloomier outlook?
Any gains seen in 2013 were largely the result of short-term trends, such as replacements for Windows XP computers, according to IDC. The forecast for PC shipments in emerging markets has also weakened due to such factors as feebler economic growth and growing competition from smartphones and tablets.
"Emerging markets used to be a core driver of the PC market, as rising penetration among large populations boosted overall growth," IDC's Worldwide PC Trackers Vice President Loren Loverde said in a statement. "At the moment, however, we're seeing emerging regions more affected by a weak economic environment as well as significant shifts in technology buying priorities. We do expect these regions to recover in the medium term and perform better than mature regions, but growth is expected to stabilize near zero percent, rather than driving increasing volumes as we saw in the past."